Education is the best protection

Raise wiser children, not taller fences. Mail & Guardian, May 16 2014.

A sobering article written by an educator in South Africa, a country like so many others permeated with easy access to the internet. The concerns she raises are multifold. Kids are gaining access to all kinds of images and material that is shocking, confusing and distressing them.

Her argument is that putting up barriers to such access is impossible. Rather parents and educators need to work on educating kids to be discerning and to use critical thinking, in assessing what they see and hear.

Specifically, she mentions easy access to online pornography. She describes scams into which naive kids tumble. She alludes to kids foolishly giving out private information online. And she mentions kids being bullied online.

All tough stuff, for which kids and parents are not ready to cope. Though the problems seems daunting, she sees no solution but adults working with kids to be ready for and aware of what they’re facing.